July 16, 2024

After a jury reached a verdict in favor of plaintiff technology owner in its action against defendant potential licensee for breach of a nondisclosure agreement, the Santa Clara County Superior Court (California) ordered a new trial on damages at the potential licensee’s request after denying its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The trial court denied the technology owner’s request for injunctive relief. Both parties appealed.

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The court held that the trial court did not err in ordering a new trial on damages because it was beyond question that the owner established every element of breach of contract, including resulting harm. The trial court did not find insufficient proof of the existence of damages; it ruled only that the amount of those damages was calculated incorrectly and therefore warranted a new trial using the correct measure of value. The trial court properly admitted as business records under Evid. Code, § 1271, two documents from the website of a company partly owned by the potential licensee because the evidence of authenticity and trustworthiness supplied by the testimony of a senior director of the company was adequately supplemented by the URL notation on the documents, and by the original Japanese versions offered by the potential licensee. The trial court properly declined to order injunctive relief because the owner failed to carry its burden to show that damages for the potential licensee’s breach would be insufficient to prevent any future harm. It did not demonstrate the potential licensee was continuing to disclose information in violation of the nondisclosure agreement.


The court affirmed the orders.